Earth Crisis – Salvation of Innocents (Candlelight)

Sunday, 16th February 2014
Rating: 8/10

Their straightedge/vegan agenda still front and center (where it belongs), long-running hardcore metal vanguards Earth Crisis have gone the conceptual route with their sixth album, Salvation of Innocents. Paired with the Liberator comic, the album is given an added visual accompaniment to go along with their ever-important lyrical views. And if one is straight-edge or not, it’s damn-near refreshing to have some actual substance in the tunage. You know, real-life stuff. Stuff that matters. (Not like dragons or the devil don’t, but you catch our drift…)

With more variety in tow in relation to 2011’s Neutralize the Threat, Salvation of Innocents keeps the band’s cohesively-aggro approach in check, most notably on “The Morbid Glare,” a song that ranks among the fastest the band has done to date. And when coupled with a nice little staccato break, it emerges as one of the album’s finer cuts. “Out of the Cages” rolls with similar quickness, while some clean vocal action on “Slither” from Karl Buechner is rather welcome; same goes for “No Reason.”

Practically at the same stage in their career as Hatebreed (without the album sales of course, but with just as much influence), Earth Crisis’ veteran stance and song-first mentality makes Salvation of Innocents the best of their post-reformation album. There’s still some peeks toward those vitriolic Gomorrah’s Season Ends (“Razors Through Flesh” gets the nod) around, but the finely-aged, mature, and purposeful Earth Crisis sits quite well in the hardcore metal landscape circa 2014.

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